Source: Yale News Daily

The National University of Singapore (NUS) will be holding a virtual townhall next week for parents of Yale-NUS College students and alumni after over 260 parents of the institution’s students demanded to meet its president Tan Eng Chye to discuss the closure.

The university said that the townhall will be held to address their concerns about the Yale-NUS and University Scholars Programme (USP) merger decision.

Prof Tan said on Tuesday (7 Sep) that the university was “planning a series of individual, face-to-face meetings for parents of Yale-NUS and University Scholars Programme students from the later part of September to address these concerns and questions”.

However, the parents reiterated their call for a virtual townhall, and asked that it be held on Friday evening (10 Sep).

“We will be separately organising a virtual townhall for parents next week,” said an NUS spokesperson in an email to CNA on Thursday (9 Sep).

“We will be getting in touch with parents soon to share the details of this virtual townhall.”

Parents of Yale-NUS students demand townhall meeting with NUS President

In a letter sent to Prof Tan on Monday (6 Sep), the parents identified themselves as parents of current and deferred students, as well as alumni.

Responding to their request the next day, Prof Tan agreed to individual face-to-face meetings with parents of both Yale-NUS students and the NUS USP in late September.

He noted that the current COVID-19 measures require small group meetings.

Dissatisfied, the parents sent another letter on Wednesday (8 Sep) rejecting Prof Tan’s suggestion of smaller group meetings in favour of a virtual townhall meeting.

“We find that this is a reasonable and respectful request, seeing as to how you preferred to announce your decision to shutter Yale-NUS’ door through a town hall for students,” they wrote.

They asked that Prof Tan meet them at a townhall meeting on Friday, 7pm.

Yale wasn’t consulted on closure of Yale-NUS or merger with NUS

The closure of the liberal art’s college was revealed in late August. This would effectively end the collaboration between the United States Ivy League University Yale and the NUS which started in 2011.

It was announced that Yale-NUS would not take in new students and will continue to operate for the next four years until its current students graduate.

The college will then merge with NUS’ USP to form a new institution, currently named “New College” — without the involvement of Yale.

NUS said that the formation of the new college is the “latest move in NUS’ efforts to transform the educational experience at Singapore’s flagship university”, which will welcome its first intake of up to 500 students in the academic year of 2022.

The dissolution is reportedly based on a clause in the founding of the college back in 2011 which allows either party to unilaterally pull out of the collaboration in 2021.

The announcement was met with shock and pushback from the student body and parents.

It was also reported by Yale Daily News that the decision to close the college and merge with the USP was made without input from Yale.

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